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Release: Immediate

History professor awarded Brodbeck Humanities Fellowship for research

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Constance Berman, a University of Iowa professor of history, is the recipient of the 1999-2000 May Brodbeck Humanities Fellowship, which provides $15,000 for use in promoting research.

The Brodbeck Fellowship is a competitive award designed to encourage and support the study of language, linguistics, literature, philosophy, history, jurisprudence, criticism, and theory of the arts, as well as humanistic aspects of the natural and social sciences. It is alternately awarded with the James Van Allen Natural Sciences Fellowship.

Berman plans to begin work on a book, "After the Millenium: Women and economy in 11th-Century Europe," which re-examines traditional explanations of 11th-century economic growth as well as women's status and authority in the central Middle Ages by reconsidering two standard paradigms. The first is the "take-off" of the European economy in the Middle Ages, which has ignored women's labor. The second is that of a decline in women's power and authority after the 11th century. Berman maintains that while certain types of women's power declined, a better standard of living and different opportunities emerged for women.